Home Green DIY Guide How to make an Eco-friendly shopping bag?

How to make an Eco-friendly shopping bag?

An Eco-Friendly Shopping Bag

In today’s era, when pollution is on high, Eco-friendly products are always in! You can make them easily at the same time you do not have to dump them after every use as they are durable and can have room for enough of your stuffs. Using of Eco-friendly bags lessens the requirement of plastic bags. Plastic bags take over 1,000 years to decompose and at the same time emit harmful toxic chemicals into the soil during the process. Reusable Eco-friendly shopping bags have lots of advantages over plastic bags. They carry twice the amount of stuffs in comparison to standard plastic bags. Their long, soft, fabric handles are easy on our hands and we can carry them on our shoulder as well.

Many shopping bags made of recycled or organic cotton are also available. The biggest advantage of these bags is that they are washable and made of strong fabric that last for years.

Difficulty level: Moderate (requires basic knowledge)

Time required: 4 to 5 hrs or even less depending upon your sewing and cutting skills

Resources required

1. A meter or yard of medium weight of cotton denim

2. A measuring tape

3. A pair of cutting scissors

4. Some pins

5. An iron

6. Sewing machine

7. Heavy duty thread and needle

Instructions

Take a 45 inch wide fabric that is made of cotton or some light weight upholstery fabric.

Step 1: Cutting

You will need in all 5 pieces:

  1. The first piece will form the bags main body. It should be 24″X42″

  2. The second one is the 1st strap piece with the measure 4″X42″

  3. The third cut will be for the 2nd and 3rd strap pieces 4″X36″

  4. The fourth cut is for the pocket which measures 8″X8″

Step 2: Preparing the strap

Now once done with the cutting you have to sew the parts together. First you can start with the strap pieces. Sew the strap pieces together in such a way that it takes form of a large ring. Use seam allowances of 3/8 inch. Fold the strap in half and sew surrounding the whole ring 3/8 inch from edge. Once done now fold the sewed strap in half and mark both the half way points using a pin. These guide points will be used when you are ready to assemble the bag.

Step 3: Preparing the main body of bag

Twofold fold the top end of the 24″ cloth keeping 3/8″ of seam allowance and press. Now make the same twofold at the top of the pocket and press. At the bottom of the pocket, give a single fold and press again.

Step 4: Sewing

Now sew the folded end seams of the bag’s main body as well as the top seam of the pocket. After that pin the pocket on to the center of the main body. Now the sew bottom seam of pocket to the main body in a way such that there is no raw edge left.

The next step is confusing so carefully follow it in order. Take the 1st strap and attach it using a pin to the left top edge of the main body. Now pin the 2nd strap on to right bottom edge of main body. Carefully place the width of strap over pocket sealing the side raw side edges of pocket. Now sew around the sides of the strap and make the stitches stronger by sewing over them for 3-4 times.

Fold the main body of the bag in half right side out and sew them keeping 3/8″ of seam allowance. After this, turn bag inside-out, and press that seam flat in a way such that the seam is right at the edge and sew at 1/2″. Your bag is ready.

But the bag is flat just as an envelope. To give it thickness, pull the bottom corner point out to form a triangle and sew it. Sew it twice and turn the bag right side out and your shopping bag is ready.

Frequently asked question

Q. Can you sew this bag without a sewing machine as well?

A. Yes, you can. You will also need hand sewing needles that are sharp to sew them. Sew all the seams making use of small running stitches and when you reach the end of the seam go back making reverse stitches. The bag made by hand will also look the same but the only difference is that this will take longer time to complete.

Quick tips

As an alternative to make straps, substitute them with webbing that available at the fabric stores. Webbing offers additional strength to the bag. But use the same enclosing style with webbing as you do with straps.

Things to watch out for

If your fabric is thick, use heavy-duty thread or else you can also use the all purpose thread of matching or contrasting colors to sew the bag.